Colorado Rapids

Preview: Rapids host San Jose Earthquakes in penultimate home game


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids (9-12-9, 36 pts) will host the San Jose Earthquakes (7-13-9, 30 pts) during the club’s Noche Latina at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday, September 14 (8 p.m. MT; Altitude Sports, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM) as they continue chasing a spot in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

Robin Fraser’s side are looking to extend a six-game home unbeaten run (3-0-3) as they close out the season series against San Jose. The Earthquakes won the first meeting this season in California 1-0, though San Jose hasn’t won in any of their previous 10 visits to Colorado dating back to 2014 (0-5-5). That streak is the Rapids’ second-longest unbeaten run at home against a single opponent in MLS (including playoffs), which is only surpassed by their 11 consecutive games at home without seeing defeat against the New England Revolution between 2003 and 2013. Overall, the Rapids have lost just two of their last 31 regular season matches at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park (17-2-12) dating back to May 2021. 

The Rapids enter the midweek contest following a 3-1 win over the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday nightthat kept their playoff hopes alive heading into their final four games of the regular season. Rapids forward Gyasi Zardes was named to the MLS Team of the Week bench after scoring his 10th goal of the season in the win over Vancouver. The goal marked Zardes’ fifth season with double-digit goals (2014, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022) and makes him just the 14th player in MLS history to accomplish that feat. 

Also helping the Burgundy Boys collect three points against the ‘Caps was captain Jack Price, who substituted into Saturday’s match in the 68th minute, minutes before delivering an assist on Jonathan Lewis’ goal. It marked Price’s 35th assist all-time in Burgundy, surpassing Terry Cooke for second-most in club history. It was Price’s first appearance since August 6 after returning from a chest injury that saw him miss the Rapids’ last six games. 

Diego Rubio reached a new milestone, as well, when he scored his 13th goal of the season in the 33rd minute of Saturday’s match, surpassing Chris Henderson for fifth-most goals in Rapids history (32). The goal was also his 12th game-winning goal as a member of the Rapids, tying him with Paul Bravo for most in club history. The Chilean has now contributed to a goal in each of his last seven home matches (five goals, two assists). Against the Quakes, Rubio has scored two goals and has delivered one assist in three matches as a member of the Rapids. 

Colorado will be facing a San Jose side that enters the match coming off a 6-0 loss to FC Cincinnati, marking the sixth straight season that San Jose has allowed five or more goals in a match at least once. Including playoffs, San Jose has conceded five or more goals 11 times since the start of the 2017 season, more than any other team in MLS in that time. Offensively, the Bay Area side has fared better with Jeremy Ebobisse leading the team with 15 goals this season, T-7th-most in the league, while Cristian Espinoza has recorded 12 assists on the year, tied for 4th-most in MLS.

Wednesday’s game brings with it a few cross-club connections with current Rapids players. Defender Steven Beitashour, who is a native of San Jose, California, began his MLS career with his hometown club after being drafted by the Earthquakes in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft (30th overall). He went on to feature 87 times for the Quakes, recording two goals and 16 assists and helping the club win the 2012 Supporters' Shield. 

Michael Barrios made his MLS debut against the Earthquakes on March 7, 2015, as a member of FC Dallas, while Lucas Esteves made his first MLS start on the road in San Jose on September 4, 2021, helping the Rapids earn three points and a clean sheet. Zardes recorded his very first MLS assist in a match against the Earthquakes on August 31, 2013, helping the Galaxy record a 3-0 win at home.